Empowering employee-led teams to organize activities in their neighborhood, Huntsman Textile Effects is helping make local communities more sustainable. The company, which has operations around the world, seeks to make a difference through social, environmental and economic sustainability projects.
“I am proud that associates across Textile Effects work closely together with their local communities to make a vibrant world possible today and for future generations,” said Rohit Aggarwal, President, Huntsman Textile Effects. "From community programs promoting education and local enterprise to environmental initiatives such as recycling waste, beach cleaning and tree planting, we’re making positive and lasting contributions to the communities in which we operate.”
Huntsman projects are designed by local employees to meet the needs of the communities in which we operate, in line with the core pillars of sustainability: people, planet, profit.
Social sustainability in action
In Fraijanes, Guatemala, the 37-stong Huntsman team has supported Hogar Niños de Fatima, a local children’s home, and AYUVI, a charity that provides free treatment to children with cancer. For example, the team and local contractors contributed a significant number of hours supporting these two worthy organizations in 2016. This included collecting more than 290 kg of paper, 10 kg of packaging and 40 kg of plastic bottle caps in recycling-based fundraisers.
In Gandaria, Indonesia, the Huntsman Textile Effects team donated air-conditioners to local mosques, which are important centers of community life in the area.
Huntsman Textile Effects runs the award-winning Anandi program in Baroda, in India’s Gujarat state. The program mobilizes staff volunteers and company funding in support of community projects focused on education, health, water and sanitation and animal husbandry. Recent education-sector activities have included a sports day for 500 children, a 10-day summer camp, and the distribution of 6,000 notebooks, 2,000 schoolbags and other school supplies. The team also supports village-based computer education and life-skills training for teens.
Since the textiles sector is a major global user of fresh water, water conservation is a key focus area for Huntsman Textile Effects. The Baroda team recently installed a 500 KL underground water tank to store water and meet the needs of more than 3,500 people in Luna, a village near to the Textile Effects plant. The project was operated on a Public-Private-Partnership model, in close cooperation with villagers and local administrators, and took close to two years to complete.
In Atotonilquillo, Mexico, the Huntsman team continues to focus on recycling. It recently donated 150 recycling containers to local schools to encourage sorting and recycling of waste. It is also working with three schools in the Miraflores and Atotonilquillo villages to collect used batteries for recycling and safe disposal. More than 180 kilograms of used batteries were collected from the schools over a 12-week period and will be sent to a certified external provider for proper disposal. Battery recycling has been an ongoing program by the Huntsman team in Atotonilquillo.
Huntsman also regularly holds tree-planting days. At Mahachai in Thailand, 90 employees recently planted more than 80 pine trees at the manufacturing site. In addition to providing shade and other environmental benefits, the trees will also serve as a protective barrier to reduce noise and dust for the benefit of Huntsman’s neighbors. This is a first phase of tree planting activities as part of a longer-term plan to build a small park on-site for associates.
In Singapore, 50 Huntsman associates and their family members conducted a beach clean-up activity, working on stretch of Singapore’s eastern shoreline and collectively gathered more than 20 bags of litter and rubbish that has washed ashore. The event marked the United Nations Environment Program’s World Environment Day which is held annually on June 6 to raise awareness on environmental issues.
Grassroots economic sustainability
Huntsman Textile Effects’ Anandi program, which is run by its Baroda team, helps nurture the local economy through an animal husbandry program, one of the focus areas under the initiative. It provides training and information on best practices to help local dairy farmers improve the yield and quality of milk from dairy buffaloes. Some 65 families from Umraya and 60 families from Luna benefit from the ongoing initiative.
Baroda also supports local adolescent girls through innovative vocational programs that aim to inspire them as entrepreneurs. Thirty-eight girls from Umraya recently completed a two-month healthcare course, while 30 joined a three-month course on embroidery work.
In the context of the wider industry community, Huntsman supports mills and brands to sustain their competitiveness, with innovative products and processes that help them conserve resources and reduce waste while meeting demand for high-performance, eco-friendly textile products. To remind staff of the value of their efforts, the Huntsman Langweid facility in Germany held an event for 150 employees. The site’s energy-saving and waste-reduction programs were highlighted, along with customer success stories.
“At Huntsman Textile Effects, we believe that small local actions can bring about extraordinary global change when we all work together. Our approach to sustainability spans people, planet and profit and relies on innovation and collaboration,” Mr Aggarwal continued. “We are proud of the community efforts of our caring employees, and we will continue to support them in these efforts around the world.”